France will lend €225m ($307m) to Morocco to fund the purchase of rolling stock for the Casablanca tramway project.

The agreement was signed in Rabat on Monday by Moroccan Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar and France’s Secretary of Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac, according to the Maghreb Arab Press, a state-owned press agency.

In November 2009, state-run Casa Transports, which is overseeing construction of the tram, awarded a contract for the enabling works on the line to France’s Alstom.

This contract includes re-rerouting underground utilities, such as power cables and water pipes, as well as diverting roads and constructing foundations for the tramway platforms. Alstom will also supply 74 trams that will run on the line. It is scheduled to deliver the trams by the end of 2011 (MEED 18:11:09).

Casa Transports is expected to issue tender documents for the estimated $850m contract to build the first line of the tramway by the end of the first quarter. The first line is expected to open on 12 December 2012.

The project involves the construction of three further lines in the city. In total, the four lines will cover a distance of 76km.

Systra is the project manager for the tram scheme. The French rail group is partnered by its subsidiary, Systra Morocco, and the local CID Engineering & Development Consultants.